Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any legal concerns we suggest you consult a solicitor.

Death without a will and co habitation

(232 Posts)
RonaldMcDonald Mon 25-Aug-14 22:58:30

What happens nowadays if you die without having made a will and you were co habiting?
This has happened to my friend.
He has made financial provision for his children but has made no new will since he started to co habit with his new girlfriend
She says that she gets 2/3s of the money and the children the rest split between them <although the provision was started long before they knew each other>
Sounds a bit unfair as his kids are young

Any ideas? She has called the insurance co to tell them she is the next of kin.
Help if poss would be v gratefully received
Ta

500smiles Mon 25-Aug-14 23:07:22

Co-habiting? As in not married? If that is the case, then she will get nothing I'm afraid.

Intestacy rules will apply

OldLadyKnowsSomething Mon 25-Aug-14 23:09:30

Co-habiting; in rental, or mortgaged? If mortgaged, tenants in common, or joint tenants? Or just his name, just hers? Is there life insurance in place to pay off the mortgage? Which country? (It's different in Scotland). You say "no new will", which suggests there was an old one, in which case the provisions in that will stand, regardless of co-habitation...

RonaldMcDonald Mon 25-Aug-14 23:15:51

Girlfriend is executor and has informed insurance co that she is next of kin <as co habiting partner>
She then informed the children that they would also have claim on his life insurance after her..she lion share they whatever left

The children's mother <ex co habitee> is a bit ?? about this and actually has his old will which left everything to her and the children equally
She has no interest in the claim but was !?! about why the kids would do so much worse
I think she felt if it was shared equally it would have been fine

RonaldMcDonald Mon 25-Aug-14 23:18:39

It is an insurance policy that pays out upon his death

he has made no new will with his current co habiting partner

girlfriend is current co habiting partner. The property that they lived in was hers.

live in England.

Thanks for all this...seems all a bit weird and difficult to discuss

PortofinoRevisited Mon 25-Aug-14 23:22:15

She will probably get nothing at all in that case. Death in service benefits, you can normally designate a recipient.

OldLadyKnowsSomething Mon 25-Aug-14 23:22:56

Girlfriend can't be executor if there's no will, the will names the executor. And there is a will, the one the ex holds. This doesn't change with mere cohabitation; it would have been invalidated by an actual marriage, but that's not what's happened.

Ex needs to get lawyered up. GF is bullshitting and trying to do the dc out of their inheritance.

As for life insurance, the benefactor(s) will be named, gf can't change that with a phone call claiming to be nok.

PortofinoRevisited Mon 25-Aug-14 23:24:29

What is she executor of exactly though, if he never made a will?

bloodyteenagers Mon 25-Aug-14 23:27:02

Doesn't she have to named on the insurance?

OldLadyKnowsSomething Mon 25-Aug-14 23:27:06

X post there. The house is hers, so remains so. The life insurance will have named beneficiaries, presumably as per the will, none of it will go to the gf.

EBearhug Mon 25-Aug-14 23:28:23

If they were only cohabiting, and there was no new will, then she won't get anything. If they had been married, then any existing wills would have been invalidated, but they weren't, so the old will still stands.

Can you name beneficiaries for life insurance, and had he updated it if so? (My mother didn't have any, so didn't have to think about it.)

If the house was hers, then it's still hers.

The duties of the executor are to distribute the estate in accordance with the most recent will. She can't get 2/3 of the money if that's not in his will. But if he hadn't made a new will since living with her, how come she's named as the executor?

trixymalixy Mon 25-Aug-14 23:29:26

GF is in for a bit of a shock. She's talking absolute rubbish.

iK8 Mon 25-Aug-14 23:31:07

Has probate been applied for? And if so, using what will?

If I was the mother of those children I'd be on the phone to the insurance company PDQ. If it's an employer's policy there is often a strict process to follow and the trustees of the scheme get the final say in the event of any dispute. They need to know if the deceased had any dependent children because they will usually take priority over a non-dependent partner.

iK8 Mon 25-Aug-14 23:32:39

Yes, what exactly is she executing? (is that a word??!)

LittleBearPad Mon 25-Aug-14 23:33:46

There is a will. It's the one he made that names his former partner and his children. Thr current girlfriend is talking crap.

If there wasn't a will the children would still be thr main recipients. I doubt the girlfriend would get anything in these circumstances either.

CeliaBowen Mon 25-Aug-14 23:38:13

Solicitors. ASAP for the children's benefit - the ex (the mother) should be getting advice.

So sorry to hear about your friend.

Farahilda Mon 25-Aug-14 23:56:48

Has the extant will been located, who has got it now, and who does it name as executors?

The insurance company will only pay out to the nominees, so that is whoever was named when it was taken out or following written instructions from the policy holder before death.

Who is named as guardians of the DC? Their mother? Who would have a strong case if no one was named, as she is likely to be the only other person with PR, and unless there are strong reasons why she is unfit it will be her not a subsequent girlfriend.

It strikes me as quite possibly that he did not update his will because he actually wanted his estate to go to his DC and their guardian.

A subsequent girlfriend, whether cohabiting or not, if not named in will or relevant policies, stands to inherit nothing.

I don't know if new girlfriend would have any grounds to have the will varied.

iK8 Tue 26-Aug-14 00:02:52

Regarding the insurance company it will depend whether it was a self-purchased policy or a death in service benefit linked or a policy linked to a company pension.

For the latter two it is the trustees who will have the final say and they can override the wishes expressed on the nominee form. I have been involved in cases like this at work (I'm in HR) where the paperwork has not been updated and has a former partner or ex-spouse named. In all the cases I can recall there were dependent children with the new partner so that made a difference and the trustees decided to give the money to the new partner and children.

iK8 Tue 26-Aug-14 00:04:09

Just to clarify, did new girlfriend and the deceased have any children together?

skyeskyeskye Tue 26-Aug-14 00:11:46

Surely the will stands as they were not married. She would have to contest it. What she would get depends on if any DC together and how long they were together.

This is why wills need to be updated if your circumstances change. sad

RonaldMcDonald Tue 26-Aug-14 00:24:31

Gf asked old partner if she had any details of policies etc as as far as she knew my friend had life insurance
His ex partner said she had no details now but knew he had had one previously ( as policy was started when they were together and had kids )

Gf said she'd do some digging around as she was his 'executor'

She came back to ex partner and said that she had uncovered the papers and info of the policy. Had called it up and upon answering qs had had herself placed upon it as next of kin
She then told ex that she should call to have the children added to have remainder about 1/3 to her 2/3
Ex was pleased as had been worried my friend had let policy lapse and perhaps had died with v dicey financial status

However...it has made her question what is going on.
He wouldn't leave the kids worse off than an other adult ordinarily, he wasn't that sort in her opinion ( and mine )
In the will he had with ex it stated for ex and children equally if over 18...
She genuinely isn't arsed about the money but is keen to ensure that the children get their fair share.

The gf says that as they were co habiting she is entitled to this money and has been told this by the insurance company

Without a new will and no one named on the policy...does his old will stand? Or will he be intestate?
If intestate will the cohabiting parter have a greater claim than the children?

They were together for more than a few years and I would like it to be fair but also a representation of what he would have wanted

God what a mess

RonaldMcDonald Tue 26-Aug-14 00:25:21

New partner and deceased had no children together

LittleBearPad Tue 26-Aug-14 00:26:15

The old will stands.

The gf is talking crap.

Your friend should speak to a solicitor.

RonaldMcDonald Tue 26-Aug-14 00:31:00

The ex partner has custody of the children
The policy was self bought, I have no idea who was named on it...my spidery senses would say the old partner but the new partner has changed this as 'executor' and in belief that co habitation gives her the same rights as marriage
Old partner thinks it gives the new partner those rights too...my understanding is somewhat different

The new partner says he didn't have a will but intended to leave everything to her...the old partner has a copy of his actual old will
Does co habitation now confer the same rights as marriage?

LittleBearPad Tue 26-Aug-14 00:33:32

No. Marriage is the only thing that would give her rights in this situation.

The gf can't appoint herself executor. This will be whoever is named in the will.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now